Mind-Blowing Miniatures of Real Places Around the World

When you think of miniatures, perhaps images of old ladies meticulously constructing dollhouses and shut-ins building ships in bottles come to mind. But, whether they’re commercial ventures or individuals’ all-consuming projects, there are quite a few miniatures out there that could actually be described as awesome. A scale model of New York City that reproduces every single building from Staten Island to the Bronx? Amazing. A Mayan temple made out of nine tons of chocolate? Incredible (not to mention delicious). A teeny tour of old Hong Kong? Fascinating. We’ve collected some of the coolest — and one of the most depressing — miniature models of cities and landmarks from around the world. Take a guided tour after the jump.

New York City

The Queens Museum may pale in comparison to the Met — or even the Brooklyn Museum — but it does have one incredible work that ought to make those two institutions jealous: The Panorama, a 9,335 square foot model of New York that includes all 900,000 or so buildings in the five boroughs. Built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, it was last updated in 1992, which means its version of Brooklyn is blissfully free of all the ugly condos that have gone up in the past decade or so. You can see a whole lot more pictures of the model here.